Community Foundation Names Vice President for Community Impact and Partnerships

Denise Hurst to oversee grantmaking and scholarships, and advance the Foundation’s strategic vision in key regional projects and initiatives.

Springfield, MA—The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) is pleased to announce the appointment of Denise Hurst as vice president for Community Impact and Partnerships. In this redesigned role meant to deepen community engagement and drive program efficacy and representation, Hurst will oversee community investments, including grants, scholarships, and new efforts to strengthen advocacy, technical assistance, data and research, and evaluation in regional projects and initiatives. This appointment is the latest example of CFWM’s ongoing commitment to advance equity in our region by elevating community voices, cultivating new coalitions and partnerships, and advancing the organizational effectiveness of nonprofits.

Denise Hurst, Vice President for Community Impact and Partnerships

Hurst joins the Foundation after serving Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) as vice president of Advancement & External Affairs, where she led development for the College as the executive director of the STCC Foundation, and later oversaw marketing, communications, and government affairs. Prior to that, she was appointed regional manager of the Massachusetts State Lottery in Western Massachusetts by State Treasurer Deb Goldberg and has worked as site director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, as well as adjunct professor for Cambridge College. She comes to CFWM with a wealth of knowledge and experience, and established networks across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

According to Katie Allan Zobel, president and CEO, “We are delighted to welcome Denise as a member of our Senior leadership team. She brings a strong set of skills and a demonstrated commitment to our community,” said Zobel. “Her background makes her uniquely suited for this role as CFWM evolves to meet the new opportunities and challenges ahead.”

For over a decade, Hurst served as an elected member of the Springfield School Committee. She led the charge to establish the Minority Caucus for the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and served as the former chair of the Caucus, as well as the former vice president of MASC.

Hurst has been honored with several awards including BusinessWest’s 40 under Forty Class of 2014, 2015 100 Women of Color in New England and 2015 Top 25 Women to Watch in Western Mass., and most recently as the 2019 Woman of the Year by the Professional Women’s Chamber.

Hurst grew up and currently resides in Springfield with her husband, Justin, and their two boys. She is a UMass Amherst graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Springfield College graduate with a master’s degree in social work.

Founded in 1991, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts seeks to enrich the quality of life for the people of our region. With assets totaling $200 million, CFWM serves the three counties bordering the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts (Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties) by serving as a resource, catalyst, and coordinator for charitable activities. To learn more, visit

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Emma Mesa-Melendez at (413) 732-2858, or email